54,000 online signatures in opposition to Bach’s visit to Hiroshima submitted to Hiroshima Prefecture

by Fumiyasu Miyano, Staff Writer

On July 14, a group of volunteer citizens submitted 54,546 signatures collected on the Internet to Hiroshima Prefecture in opposition to the planned visit to the city of Hiroshima on July 16 by Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). They criticized the holding of the Tokyo Olympics amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying they wanted the prefecture to have the courage to refuse his visit.

At the prefectural government’s office, a female university faculty member who initiated the campaign handed a list of the signatures to Ayumi Kurihara, the director in charge of the prefecture’s Peace Promotion Project Team. Ms. Kurihara said, “I take it seriously and tell the boss about this.”

The group started to collect signatures on the website, “Change.org” on July 6. According to the group, the number of signatures increased by nearly 40,000 since July 13, when IOC President Bach’s visit to Hiroshima was announced. As of 5:00 p.m. on July 14, about 65,400 signatures had been collected.

The female said, “We have collected more signatures than expected. I don’t want him to cause unnecessary confusion before August 6.”

(Originally published on July 15, 2021)